From Sunderban national park to the alluring lagoon of Venice, all the low lying world heritage sites are potentially threatened by the rising sea levels due to the detrimental impact of global warming. Scientists warn that if the sea level continues to rise, it will gradually wipe away the existence of heritage sites that are located along the coastal areas or a few metres above the sea level.
A recent environmental report has suggested that the soaring global temperature and the increasing level of water pollution have triggered the process of ocean acidification. This phenomenon is not only jeopardising the marine ecosystem but is also having an adverse effect on the coastal areas and its resources. Due to the causes and effects of global warming, flooding and coastal erosion have emerged as some of the biggest challenges in protecting the world heritage sites. Apart from deluge, the coastal areas often face particular challenges of extreme weather events like the devastating cyclones and tsunamis.
The shrinking ice sheets due to the increasing temperature of this planet is considered as one of the prime reason behind the rising sea levels. The popular heritage sites across the globe are not only the popular iconic destinations, but some of these places also contribute significantly towards the stability of ecosystem. Some of the renowned world heritage sites located in the low lying coastal regions like the mangroove of Sunderbans, the floating city of Venice or the leaning tower of Pisa is gradually losing its charm and diversity due to the serious causes and effects of global warming.
The rapid melting of the glaciers and thick polar ice sheets is adversely affecting the alluring appearance of these world heritage sites and is destroying the natural habitats of many endangered wild species.
Not only the world heritage sites, but even the adjoining human settlements are prone to the disastrous effect of flooding and coastal erosion as a result of abrupt climate change. One of the remarkable heritage sites, the great barrier reef, Australia is on the verge of extinction due to increasing ocean acidification and coral bleaching. The changing pattern of precipitation, acid rain and the increasing number of natural disasters like drought and flood as a result of global warming is taking a huge toll on the world heritage properties.
Initiative towards conserving the World Heritage Sites:
Amidst the alarming environmental scenario, the preservation of natural heritage sites have emerged to be as one of the biggest challenges. Apart from the natural consequences, the limited financial funding in some countries is also affecting the maintenance of these natural heritages. Environmentalist stresses on creating a network to exchange information and raise public awareness on how pollution and climate change can be controlled to protect the archaeological heritage sites and its natural surroundings.